Ontonagon, W.Br. - B) Victoria Falls dam to Victoria Dam Rd. (5.3 miles)

Ontonagon, W.Br., Michigan, US


B) Victoria Falls dam to Victoria Dam Rd. (5.3 miles)

Usual Difficulty III-IV (varies with level)
Length 5.3 Miles
Avg. Gradient 24 fpm
Max Gradient 101 fpm

Ontonagon West Branch Below Victoria Falls

Ontonagon West Branch Below Victoria Falls
Photo by Tom Aument taken 08/10/00 @ Dam Release

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
Ontonagon River at Victoria Falls
virtual-6356 500 - 1600 cfs II-III+ 00h26m ~ 820 cfs (running)
Moderate flow. May start to be 'pushy', especially for novice/intermediate boaters. We need additional input. Add a comment or report. Virtual gauge approximates possible flow in this reach, normally dewatered by penstock. Actual flow must be confirmed by on-site inspection.

River Description

The first 1.4 miles is the class III-IV part and is a significantly dewatered reach with a lot of action packed into a short distance. (Beware metal debris in river.) The remaining 3.9 miles is a paddle out with light rapids. (Some boaters may opt to just carry back up along the penstock.)

StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2009-11-23 10:30:24

Rapid Summary

Mile Rapid Name Class Features (Legend)
1.4end of major gradientN/AAccess Video

Rapid Descriptions

end of major gradient (Class N/A, Mile 1.4)
Click Here For Video

Don't let the lack of detail on this run dissuade you from interest! It's just that the action is so intense and continuous (at least if you catch it at flows over 1000 cfs) that I have not bothered to try to parse out (or name) individual features. Perhaps folks who have a chance to run this more regularly have or can come up with feature names and provided them via comments and photos.

As you come in sight of the powerhouse (and it's outflow canal) the major bulk of the gradient is over. Your option is to either take-out and carry up alongside the penstock, or to continue downriver, paddling 3.9 miles of low gradient (but well-moving water) to get to the next road crossing.

The following video (Via YouTube, courtesy of "Duck Wild Producktions") shows a high-flow (4,030 cfs!) raft trip down this stretch.

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